Getting Started: Ringing in Success
Have you ever read a Where’s Waldo book? The objective on each page is simple: comb through the crowds of people to find Waldo. Finding volunteers is very much the same game.
It’s not easy! Martin Handford, the English artist, has made his career out of creating complex illustrations, with seas of people, multiple landmarks, and mythical beasts that make spotting Waldo – in his trademark red and white striped sweater and glasses – an exercise in patience and frustration, even for the most interested fans.
Likewise, finding the elusive volunteer (who usually isn’t wearing red and white striped sweaters and glasses) takes strategy and patience. First, you need to determine who you are looking for—what profile or characteristics represent your best volunteers? Where do they live or work? Next, how much time and funds do you have to find them? Once you find them, what opportunities and specific jobs do you want and need them to do?
We have developed a few simple steps to help you find and mobilize these puzzling beings.
- SET GOALS. We all want more volunteers that bring in more kettle income. However, you need to decide how you and your command want to achieve that. For example, do you want to get more group participation, or do you want to focus on a specific individual volunteer outreach? The more defined you make your goals, the easier they will be to measure.
- DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET. How much can you afford to spend on recruitment and retention? What value will this investment provide to your organization? What materials and tactics are needed to meet your goals? If you don’t know how much to spend or how much different tactics may cost, simply call your Volunteer Engagement Team. We can help you develop a strategic plan and budget.
- START EARLY AND DON’T STOP. Don’t wait until November to start planning your outreach. Develop a plan and establish benchmarks throughout the year to ensure when November comes, your recruitment efforts are already in high gear!
- GAIN SUPPORT AT ALL LEVELS. Be sure to inform every staff member of the initiatives you have going on and how they can assist in promoting them to help make them successful. Make volunteer management part of the big picture. If a volunteer’s experience isn’t exceptional, they will be hard to retain. Fewer volunteers lead to a greater number of unstaffed kettles, which do more harm than good in your PR efforts, local reputation and hurt your bottom line.
- PROMOTE YOUR CAMPAIGN. Your strategic partners at Summit Marketing have a wealth of volunteer recruitment and engagement campaign ideas and materials. As you are planning your promotions, be sure to call your Volunteer Engagement Team to set up a strategic planning session for ideas and tools to raise awareness and create excitement for your local kettle campaign!
- STICK WITH IT! Volunteer engagement does not happen overnight. It requires a committed and constant effort on all levels, by all team members. Make sure you are continually putting your name in front of volunteers in your community. The tactics aren’t as important as the commitment and repetition. Remember, it takes time and energy to build important relationships.
- MEASURE RESULTS. This is often a forgotten step. Your team can get excited about the promotion and then overwhelmed by kettle season activities. Before you know it, Christmas comes, and it’s all over. It is human nature to move on to the next thing. But, it’s mission critical to track and know the results of your marketing efforts so you can continue to build on and leverage what you learn each year. Did your campaign accomplish its objectives? Register to Ring™ provides you with robust reporting tools that can help you measure your success and then help you determine how you want to run future promotions.
Your Volunteer Engagement Team will work closely with you to define goals and build a defined roadmap to help you create your unique definition of success. We take a holistic approach to marketing to ensure your digital and offline strategies are working together to create maximum reach, engagement, and retention of your valuable volunteers.
Let us help you start transforming your Red Kettle Campaign strategy with Register to Ring’s group recruitment.